Strict watch on use of government vehicles in 2021

The Vanuatu Public Service Commission says it will be strictly checking the use of all government vehicles, following a blow-out in Government spending on fuel in 2019.

The Acting Secretary for the Public Service Commission, James Melteres, says in 2019 the Government overspent its 94 million vatu fuel budget by 20 million vatu, spending 114 million vatu that year.

Mr Melteres says because of the overspend, the unit responsible will be applying strict rules on the Government’s vehicle usage and fuel consumption this year.

He says the 2019 overspend had not been apparent until recently.

“The Government’s over spending on fuel in 2019, has not been clear until today,” Mr Melteres said.

“This year, with the impact of COVID-19, we are applying strict rules with civil servants not allowed to use any government vehicles after working hours.

“This includes civil servants not being allowed to use vehicles on weekends.

“For example, sometimes we [see the] use of government vehicles for travel to gardens or the sea, or to pick up children from school and these uses do not follow Fleet Management Committee rules,” he said.

Mr Melteres says the Fleet Management Committee only monitors the use of government department and agency vehicles, while the use of government vehicles by ministers and their cabinets is controlled by each ministry.

Other government vehicles that also use public money are RV vehicles which are used by the law and Office of Public Prosecution and 4VE vehicles which can either be donated free of charge to Non-Government Organizations; or imported on behalf of the Vanuatu Government for aid and disaster relief projects. The Fleet Management Unit is also working to monitor their use.

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